Sweet and Sensitive: Sensory Processing Sensitivity and Type 1 Diabetes

Alon Goldberg, Zaheera Ebraheem, Cynthia Freiberg, Rachel Ferarro, Sharon Chai, Orna Dally Gottfried

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: Sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) is a recently proposed construct that refers to a genetically influenced tendency to more strongly and deeply process a variety of information. The aim of the study was to examine whether SPS is associated with an autoimmune disease such as type 1 diabetes (T1D). Research design and methods: Participants were 128 adolescents (62 with T1D and 66 comparisons [without autoimmune disease]) and their parents who completed the Highly Sensitive Person Scale (HSPS) questionnaire, assessing SPS level. Results: Higher levels of SPS were found in the T1D group than in the comparison group. Furthermore, the frequency of SPS trait was significantly higher in the T1D group than in the comparison group. Conclusions: T1D is associated with higher levels of SPS. Hence, there is a need to develop interventions, treatments, and care focused on the needs of T1D patients with SPS temperament, aimed at better treatment adherence. Furthermore, longitudinal research is needed to evaluate whether SPS is a risk factor in the development of T1D.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e35-e38
JournalJournal of Pediatric Nursing
StatePublished - Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.


  • Autoimmune disease
  • Sensory processing sensitivity
  • Type 1 diabetes


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